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Motown singer Teena Marie dies aged 54

Rappers Diddy and Common lead tributes to 'ivory queen of soul'

PA
Pic: PA
Legendary Motown singer Teena Marie has died at the age of 54.

The soul singer - real name Mary Christine Brockert - is believed to have died in her sleep at her home in California yesterday (December 26), reports BBC News.

Marie, who often recorded under the name Lady T, was dubbed the "ivory queen of soul" after becoming one of the first white artists to be signed by Motown.

She scored her only US Number One single in 1988 with 'Ooo La La La', which was sampled by the Fugees for their track 'Fu-Gee-La' a decade later.

Rapper P Diddy is among the artists who have already paid tribute to Marie, writing on his Twitter page Twitter.com/IAMDIDDY: "R.I.P Teena Marie. God Bless. Damn I just saw her the other day."

Hip-hop artist Common has also paid his respects with a series of tweets on Twitter.com/COMMON.

"Teena and I are both Pisces and we believe that we've been here before. Thats why 'De Ja Vu' is my favorite song," he said.

Mentored by funk legend Rick James on early hits such as 'Lovegirl' and 'Fire And Desire', Marie released comeback album 'La Dona' in 2004, earning a Grammy nomination for best R&B female vocal performance.

In 2009, the singer told Associated Press that she had beaten an addiction to prescription drugs before releasing her final album, 'Congo Square'.

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